Month: February 2014

Why I Stopped Using a Fitbit

It’s not secret that Fitbits are taking over the world.  Everywhere you look, someone’s got one on their wrist or in their pocket.  It’s a great little invention and one that’s being made by dozens of other manufacturers now.

If you don’t know, a Fitbit is essentially a glorified pedometer.  It counts your steps, calories burned and stairs climbed and syncs them (through either your computer or your smart phone) to the web.  You then get pretty graphs about how far you’ve traveled, how many flights you’ve climbed, and a bunch of other stuff that’s supposed to motivate you to be healthier.

Here’s what a random day in January looked like for me.  Yes, I blurred out my weight, ’cause I’m chubby right now. (We’ll get to that shortly.)

Fitbit Stats

I’ve had one for about four years now.  I started with the original on, putting it in my pocket every day, feverishly checking my steps to see how far I’d gone.  I upgraded as new ones came out and they got smaller and smaller.  They now have bracelets that you can wear, but I’m not big into that idea, so I never got that one.

About six weeks ago, I looked at my step history.  It was clear which days were weekends and which days I was out of town for business.  On an ordinary day, since I work from my home office, I didn’t walk all that much.  Most days less than 4,000 steps.  Which, for working at home, is still a lot.

The reason I stopped wearing the Fitbit was because it didn’t do anything for me.  I wasn’t motivated to walk more or be more active in any way.  It was just this thing that sat in my pocket and I’d occasionally go to the Fitbit site and see how poorly I was doing.  Some days, when I’d go out shopping, I’d break 10,000 steps.  Health professionals say that 10,000 is the magic number to stay healthy, but it’s kind of insane if you work an office job.  For me, a mile is about 2,000 steps based on my height and my gate.  That’s 5 miles a day that you should be walking.  FIVE MILES.  That’s a lot of freaking walking every single day.

The other reason I stopped carrying it?  I keep things in my pockets. I’m a guy, that’s normal.  Left pocket is my iPhone, right pocket is my keys.  Imagine worrying that you’re going to drop this tiny little device every single time you reach into your pocket to take your keys out.  Losing it’s a bit deal, too, because it runs you about $100 for one. Here’s the one I was last using for scale (mine was black, but you get the idea)



It’s pretty freaking tiny.  Imagine the panic every time you reach into your pocket and it’s not there.  You feel like you’ve essentially thrown away a crisp $100 bill.  Granted, not using it is essentially like throwing it away, too.  But at least I can re-sell it and get some of my money back.

In the years that I wore the Fitbit I stayed relatively the same weight.  More than I want to weigh, hence having this little device to try to help me be healthier.  The fact that I didn’t lose any weight at all is a testament that this little guy isn’t for me.  Will it work for other people? Sure.  Could it work for you? Maybe.  Did it do anything for me? Not a thing.

I’ve fluctuated +/- 5 pounds over the last 3 years, but have stayed relatively the same.  Fitbit didn’t do much for me that I couldn’t do on my own.  Keeping track of my steps and my eating and calories I could easily do on my own, I just don’t care to.  I’m not that type of person.

Is the Fitbit a good product? Sure.  I never had any troubles with them, and the one time I broke part of it, their support sent me an entirely brand new one. (Great experience with their support team, that one time, three years ago.)  For now, Fitbit (or Fitty, as I called him) shall sit in a drawer and collect dust.

Treatment #3 Tomorrow and other Life Musings

Tomorrow morning I’ll head into Disappearing Inc for my third treatment in having my tattoos removed. Note to self: take photos before going in, to photo-document the effectiveness of the second round.  I’m pretty excited about that, especially given how little discomfort there was after the last treatment.

If my math serves me correctly, by the end of the year my treatments should be completely done and all three tattoos should be removed.  It’ll be a weird thing to look in the mirror and not see them, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it in some way.

Other than that, I’ve been chugging away at life.  The two biggest things I’ve been working on are the re-brand of my business and finishing my first book so I can get it up for sale.  Both of which are taking up most of my free time (and some of my not free time, too!)

It’ll be nice to check those items off the never-ending nag of a todo list that I keep.

My standing desk effort has been going quite well.  I got my NextDesk ( just over 3 months ago now and I’m still loving it.  Sometimes my knees hurt a bit from standing too still, but then my brain reminds me to shuffle my feet or move around my office a tiny bit, and I feel better.  The addition of a gel mat under my feet when I’m standing has done wonders.

I generally sit for an hour in the morning and then stand until lunch.  Most afternoons are over before I realize I stood the entire thing.  The only time I force myself to sit down is when I’m doing a labor intensive task that requires my full attention — like Excel or editing.  For some reason, my brain prefers to sit while I’m doing those tasks.

I haven’t lost much weight from standing (despite the claims that you burn more calories doing it), but I do feel a lot more healthy.  I wouldn’t say I’m more tired at the end of the day, but I definitely feel fatigued on days where I stand more than I sit. Overall, though, I’m glad I made the purchase.

Here’s a photo of my setup, in case you were curious:

2014-02-07 09.16.25I’m not quite sure why everything seems crooked. Maybe I’m drunk this morning.  Not to mention how cluttered everything is.  But this is how I spend my days working.

On the far left is my new computer (the little black cylinder), behind it is my external hard drive.  My phone sits to the right of that, then some cereal, screens, keyboard (solar powered!) my beverage, speakers and a TV on the far right (for days I want to slack off and watch trashy daytime TV.)

Just your average ordinary run of the mill desk that goes up and down at the push of a button.  One minute I’m standing, the next I’m sitting. Like magic.